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Source: Only four NFL teams had Mixon on draft board

By
Alex Butler
Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon was a second round pick Friday by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft. Photo courtesy of OU_Football/Instagram
Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon was a second round pick Friday by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft. Photo courtesy of OU_Football/Instagram

April 29 (UPI) -- Four NFL franchises said that they would have considered drafting former Oklahoma Sooners running back this weekend, according to an anonymous survey.

ESPN reported, during the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft Friday night, that the survey took place over the past week.

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The Cincinnati Bengals ended up selecting Mixon in the second round with the No. 48 overall pick, after trading down from its No. 41 pick with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings ended up selecting Florida State's Dalvin Cook.

Mixon has unquestionable talent, but many teams chose to stay away from the lightning quick star for off-the-field reasons. He was suspended for the 2014 season at Oklahoma after a video was released showing him punching a 19-year-old woman and breaking four bones in her face.

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He returned to the Sooners in 2015, netting 1,109 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns. Mixon had 1,812 yards from scrimmage and 15 scores in 2016. He also scored on a kickoff return and threw a passing score last season. His 6.8 career yards per attempt rank No. 2 in the Big 12 since 1996.

The 20-year-old reached a civil settlement on Friday for the punching incident.

Current Oklahoma student Amelia Molitor, settled with Mixon on her accusation of intentional infliction of emotional stress.

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"I'm thankful Mia and I were able to talk privately. I was able to apologize to her one-on-one," Mixon said in a statement. "The way I reacted that night, that's not me. That's not the way I was raised. I think she understands that.

"Talking together helps move us past what happened. I know I have to keep working to be a better person, and this is another step in that direction. I love working with kids, and I'm looking forward to more chances to do that kind of work. I want to lead a life that inspires them, and I hope I can lead by example from today forward."

Mixon pleaded to probation, counseling, and community service. He was also suspended in November following an incident where he "did not respond appropriately to parking attendants," according to a statement from Oklahoma to ESPN.

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The Bengals' offense is now loaded with firepower for quarterback Andy Dalton, including: A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, John Ross, Giovani Bernard, Tyler Boyd, Jeremy Hill, and Mixon.

Mixon said he had a feeling the Bengals could draft him.

"I had a good idea about it, but I wasn't sure," he told reporters. "But at the end of the day they picked me up and we are rocking. We are riding."

He said the 2014 incident has changed him "a lot as a person."

"The way you think...The way you go about things," Mixon said. "I'm going to continue to keep doing the right thing in the community, on and off the field, and I'm going to prove to them why they kept me."

Mixon said he plans to work with youth football teams and with the children's hospitals around Cincinnati.

The Sooners star was banned from the NFL combine after video emerged of the incident in December. ESPN chose to show the video during Friday's draft coverage.

Robert Kraft's New England Patriots, Stephen Ross's Miami Dolphins, the Atlanta Falcons, and Baltimore Ravens previously removed Mixon from their respective draft boards, according to multiple reports.

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